With 70% more customer presentations than the previous year, you would be hard-pressed to not find something interesting at Dassault Systèmes’ 2013 North America Customer Forum—a sort of showcase of how users and companies are using Dassault Systèmes’ software for various applications. From the impressive keynote speakers who dove into the future of STEM education to the various company presentations highlighting how they use Dassault Systèmes’ 3D Experience ‘Compass’ to streamline their workflows, the event summed up just how far Dassault Systèmes’ reach is in multiple industries and sectors. For those who couldn’t make it out this year, here’s some of the highlights.

2013 3DS Customer Forum

Perhaps the most memorable parts of the event included the exceptional keynote presentations on both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. To start things off, noted industrialist Lynn Tilton took the stage to discuss her philosophies—particularly her interest in the future of manufacturing and bringing jobs back to America. With a portfolio of over 70 companies ranging from automotive to cosmetic industries, Lynn is no stranger to manufacturing-based technologies and emphasized how her story of ‘dreaming and making that dream a reality’ applies to her ability to take distressed businesses and strip them of everything but their DNA and rebuild them with a more sustainable business model—manufacturing processes being one of them.


Lynn was followed by Dassault Systèmes’ EVP of Industry, Marketing, and Corporate Communications Monica Menghini to further define what Dassault Systèmes’ ‘3D Experience’ Compass represents and how companies are leveraging the platform (more of that coming in a later article), which flowed into customer presentations ranging from Tesla Motors’ Paul Lomangino discussing how Tesla Motors leverages DS software to quickly bring automobiles to market, Jonathan Mallie of SHoP Architects presenting a pre-fab concept and their design process behind Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to John Wyzykowski of Pratt & Whitney discussing the ongoing innovations to their classic 50 year-old PT6 airplane engine and Oracle Team USA’s Andrew Gaynor discussing sailboat design and their recent America’s cup win.

Paul Lomangino of Tesla MotorsTesla-testride

Jonathan Mallie of SHoPshop-architects-3DXforum

Andrew Gaynor of Oracle Team USAoracleteamusa-3DXforum

On Wednesday, the theme of the presentations shifted away from big business and onto STEM-based education initiatives, kicking off with Enrique Legaspi of the i.am.angel foundation.

Having spent his early professional career as a schoolteacher in a rough Los Angeles neighborhood—one of the worst-performing in academics to be specific—Enrique delivered what was quite possibly the most memorable of all presentations where he discussed how STEM-based education is changing the very school he started at in Boyle Heights. Among other topics relating to STEM that Enrique tackled was going paper-free in the classroom to better prepare students to absorb technology into their everyday lives, as well as focusing on what his vision of the future of education consists of:

“The future of education is project-based learning — give them a project to tackle…If it can be done at Boyle Heights, it can be done anywhere.”

Following Legaspi was Ed Shadle of North American Eagle discussing his role as owner, driver, and project manager of North American Eagle and how he and team member Jessi Combs helped her become the fastest woman on four wheels as well as their efforts towards stimulating STEM education. Following Ed was a presentation from Microsoft’s Simon Floyd discussing how Microsoft and Dassault Systèmes are working together to make Dassault Systèmes’ software easier to use on Surface tablets—a piece of hardware that is being seen more often in classrooms.

Enrique Legaspi of i.am.foundationenrique-iamangelfoundation-3DXforum

Ed Shadle of North American Eaglenorth-american-eagle-3DXforum

Simon Floyd of Microsoftsimon-floyd-microsoft-3DXforum-300x225

SolidSmack stopped by a couple of booths in the 3D Experience Playground to hear more about some of the featured products:

zSpace Interactive Displays:

3DS Catia V6:

Altogether, it was a great year for Dassault but next year we would love to see more about how the 3D Experience is enabling smaller businesses as well as more STEM-inspired presentations. To keep in the loop about next year’s customer forum, head over to the 3DS Customer Forum site.

(Some images via Dassault Systèmes)


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.